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NAIROBI (Xinhua) -- Kenya's Tourism Cabinet Secretary Najib Balala [second left], Coca Cola County Manager Satyajit Ram [third left], Cabinet Secretary for Sports Richard Achesa [second right] and his Youth and Cabinet Secretary for Public Service, Youth and Gender Affairs Margaret Kobia unveil the 2018 World Cup Trophy at the Jomo Kenyatta International Airport in Nairobi. The World Cup trophy arrived in Nairobi on Monday and was received by President Uhuru Kenyatta at State House. XINHUA PHOTO - ALLAN MUTISO

World Cup trophy lands in Kenya

NAIROBI (Xinhua) -- The World Cup trophy arrived in Nairobi on Monday and was received by President Uhuru Kenyatta at State House.

Local football fans will have the chance to view the trophy in a special ceremony in Nairobi at the Kenyatta International Convention Centre.

The trophy, which is accompanied by top FIFA officials, is on a worldwide tour and will be received in 51 countries and in 91 cities in a bid to promote the 2018 World Cup, which will be held from June 14 to July 15 in Russia. From Nairobi, the trophy tour will head to Mozambique.

According to FIFA guidelines, only a sitting head of state and World Cup winners are allowed to touch the trophy. Kenya has never won the trophy let alone participated in the World Cup finals, meaning no individual bar President Kenyatta can touch the treasured jewel.

Nigeria, Tunisia, Morocco, Senegal and Egypt will represent Africa in this year’s tournament in Russia.

This is the third time the trophy has landed in Nairobi. Kenya had its first feel of the trophy in 2010 when the continent hosted the World Cup in South Africa and later in 2013 on its way to Brazil.


Nairobians Braved Scorching Sun for World Cup Trophy

NAIROBI (Xinhua) — Thousands of Kenyans on Tuesday braved high temperatures in Nairobi in order to view the World Cup trophy that was on a two-day stopover in Kenya.

Queues snaked around the compound of the Kenyatta International Convention Center (KICC) where the 18 karat gold trophy was on display.

“Today is a historic day for me. It was the first time in my life for me to see pure gold and a big chunk of it for that matter,” Jeff Okello, an actor told Xinhua on the sidelines of the event.

“The trophy has been handled by some of the greatest people around the globe ranging from World Cup winning players to presidents,” Okello said.

The trophy arrived in Nairobi on Monday from Addis Ababa, Ethiopia aboard a branded chartered jet. President Uhuru Kenyatta was the only Kenyan who was allowed to touch the 36-centimeter tall prize, an opportunity that is only reserved for heads of state and past World Cup winners.

This is the third time the glittering 6.17kg prestigious crown has stopped in Nairobi after arriving in the lead up to the 2010 and 2014 tournaments in South Africa and Brazil respectively.

Most people interviewed said they skipped work to attend the event with some noting that they came from outside Nairobi.

“My conscious could not allow me to be left out of this notable occasion and therefore I did not report for work in order to be part of a once-in-a-lifetime event,” Reuben Oyende, a driver, remarked while carrying his son on his shoulders.

Alice Ngendo said the trophy’s presence in the country should be inspiration enough for Kenya to strive and qualify one day for the World Cup.

Security was tight at the venue with armed police officers keeping vigil while the public was allowed to pose for pictures next to the trophy.

Members of the public gained entry to the venue upon purchasing two bottles of Coca Cola. The Cup later left for Maputo, Mozambique as part of a 51-nation tour courtesy of the global beverage maker.



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